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BMW Unveils Self-Drifting M235i Prototype at CES (W/Video)

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/7/2014 Alex Nishimoto

Autonomous driving systems typically try to get you where you're going as safely as possible. BMW took a different approach to automated driving, unveiling a self-driving (and self-drifting) prototype of the upcoming M235i at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). An array of cameras, GPS systems, radar, and ultra-sonic sensors are used to pilot the car near its dynamic limits.

2014 BMW 2 Series ConnectedDrive© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW 2 Series ConnectedDrive The prototype's many technologies help steer, brake, and accelerate the car without input from the driver. It’s an updated version of the BMW ConnectedDrive Connect system that the automaker first unveiled back in 2011. Among other things, the prototype can automatically change lanes and accelerate to overtake a slower car, and slow down once the pass is completed. Most notably, though, the M235i prototype will take the ideal race line when navigating a track. Audi accomplished a similar feat in 2012, when its autonomous TTS prototype lapped Thunderhill Raceway hitting speeds up to 120 mph. But if you don't want to hit every apex every time, the BMW M235i prototype can apparently be persuaded to take the more fun way around a track, automatically executing and sustaining drifts on the fly.

At CES, BMW also showed off its latest connectivity technology, including the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch with BMW i Remote App for monitoring charge status and range with the BMW i3 EV. When connected to the car, the watch can send navigation data to the system nav system, adjust climate controls, and check to make sure the windows, doors, and sunroof are closed using voice commands.

Check out the video for the computer-driven 2 Series and see photos of the smartwatch below. Should more autonomous driving systems be programmed for high-performance maneuvers?

Source: BMW

2014 BMW 2 Series ConnectedDrive© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW 2 Series ConnectedDrive

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